In a crisis like COVID-19, survival is our greatest challenge. Social isolation is still the first step towards curtailing the spread of the virus in Bangladesh, whilst the Government gets ready to deal with the pandemic. There is no alternative to this first step. The government and the people, all of us together need to work towards ensuring the success of this, without giving way under pressure from anyone. Together, we need to strengthen this call further.
What will happen if the number of positive cases surges? If the people needing intensive care spirals as it has in so many other countries? We are short on medical supplies, facilities, and personnel. For there are many who have taken the Hippocratic oath but do not fulfill their oath, putting to shame the many who are in the frontline doing so. Today we have to understand the importance of social isolation. The one path available now, for flattening the curve.
As social isolation is implemented, thousands of families who already live on the edge, are suddenly unemployed and at risk of starvation. This is a battle which is we are already starting to fight. In a country where there are millions of day labourers, we have to weigh the deaths due to the pandemic and deaths due to starvation. It is a difficult balancing act.
Yet as the question of human survival haunts us, we also need to look into the future for ourselves and our children. For during these moments when our survival is threatened, it is easy to forget long-term problems. Unfortunately, a pandemic is not only here for the short term. Scientists have predicted that till a vaccine can be found and distributed around the world, which may take over a year— social isolation will remain a reality.
What will happen to the 10.5 million secondary students if they stay out of school for a year? We cannot afford for education to come to a standstill. We must find innovative techniques for students of all levels to continue learning from home in a way that does not hinder progress.